As The Gal Pal Of A Guy, You Should Back Off When He Gets A Girlfriend

I’m a big believer that it’s good to have friends of all genders. I absolutely adore all of the women I have around me in my life, but I also have some really close guy friends who I’ve been hanging out with for over a decade.

When my guy friends get into relationships with new women, I’m always excited for them, but I also know that it means our friendship will kind of change…and I let it.

I Am Very Close With My Guy Friends

group of three men and one women laughing together
Photo Credit: Pexels / Helena Lopes
Photo Credit: Pexels / Helena Lopes

My guy friends and I have been through thick and thin for years together of hanging out, personal crises, and all the other things life brings.

Like with my female friends, we have a wide array of inside jokes, their parents and I know each other decently well, and we naturally spend a lot of time together. I think that’s totally normal.

Of Course, You Always Celebrate The W’s Of Your Friends

man and woman holding hands walking along the beach
Photo Credit: Pexels / Asad Photo Maldives
Photo Credit: Pexels / Asad Photo Maldives

Honestly, I love whenever any of my friends gets into a new relationship with someone they seem to genuinely be interested in.

Dating can be such a nightmare sometimes that it’s rare to find someone you actually like and maybe see a future with. Naturally, I’m the first one to celebrate my guy pals when they get into a relationship with a new woman.

However, I Recently Came Across A TikTok That Made Me Think A Bit

I’ve seen multiple other “point of view” videos on the app fixating on the way many female best friends act in the presence of their guy pal’s girlfriend.

Of course, this is a bit of an exaggerated caricature, but a lot of the behaviors still stand and I deeply cringed while watching it.

I Guess, Once Upon A Time, I Might Have Been That Friend

man and two women having a beer together
Photo Credit: Pexels / Helena Lopes
Photo Credit: Pexels / Helena Lopes

When I was younger, I used to treat all of my friends pretty much the same across the board. It was totally fine with my female friends whose boyfriends couldn’t have cared less, but I know that my closeness to my guy friends sometimes made their girlfriends annoyed.

Of course, things were 100% platonic on my end, so I never really thought much of my own actions.

But Then I Really Reflected On It

woman looking worried in thought
Photo Credit: Pexels / Alex Green
Photo Credit: Pexels / Alex Green

Once a significant other of a guy was upset when she found out I had left a couple of hair elastics in his apartment because it was annoying when I forgot one. A girlfriend was upset to find out we’d shared a room on a ski trip, even though this was par for the course to same money in our normal endeavors. One girlfriend got uncomfortable with the fact that I’d bought my pal some merch from his favorite band for his birthday because it was “too personal.”

They were always little things that were totally normal when my friends were single but were suddenly being scrutinized when they had a new significant other.

Looking Back On It, I Was Probably In The Wrong

thumbs down
Photo Credit: Pexels / cottonbro
Photo Credit: Pexels / cottonbro

At the time, I thought that it was the girlfriend who was acting like a total A-hole. I mean, it’s not like I had any interest in the guy, but that didn’t matter to her.

The more I thought about it, though, the more I understood their frustrations. Buying a gift for a boyfriend only to have another girl in his circle give him something potentially more personal and expensive can feel threatening. As much as a guy can say he’s “just friends” with a gal he knows, she doesn’t really know what the relationship between us is like when he says he’s sharing a room with another woman.

Also, Not All Friendships Are Created Equally

ground of men and woman hanging out in living room
Photo Credit: Pexels / Daria Shevtsova
Photo Credit: Pexels / Daria Shevtsova

It’s also important to note that, especially in adult friend groups, a lot of the opposite-sex friendships you have might have originally started because one person was romantically interested in the other.

While my female friends’ boyfriends have never worried about there being physical attraction in our relationship, it can be very different for a girlfriend whose boyfriend is very close with another woman—how is she to know if there is or isn’t history there?

I’ve Totally Been That Girlfriend Too

woman looking at herself in the mirror
Photo Credit: Pexels / Jessica Ticozzelli
Photo Credit: Pexels / Jessica Ticozzelli

The truth is, I’ve also been in a situation where I’ve been dragged into a boyfriend’s friend group only for a female friend of his to be almost too familiar with him.

It sometimes, whether intentional or not, felt like she was trying to demonstrate just how close they are and, in turn, make me feel slightly on the outside.

Since Then, I’ve Learned To Tailor My Behavior Appropriately

group of friends at bonfire
Photo Credit: Pexels / Kindel Media
Photo Credit: Pexels / Kindel Media

As I’ve grown older, I’ve learned that I can care for my guys and girlies in the same amount, but it’s important to give my guy friends space when they have a new girlfriend in their lives.

I cut back on hugs, I find ways to make sure we’re not delving into too many inside jokes, and I generally just am a little less involved in their lives. As a woman, I often get laced into helping with things that need a “feminine” eye, like shopping for his mom’s birthday present, but obviously, that’s something he could ask a girlfriend instead. I’m just giving them the space they need to develop their relationship. Best case, down the road, me and the other woman become friends, but of course, it takes time to build that trust up.

If Their Relationship Ends, Then Obviously Things Can Change

woman taking photo of man while hiking together
Photo Credit: Pexels / Vanessa Garcia
Photo Credit: Pexels / Vanessa Garcia

Not that I’m ever rooting for my friends to go through a breakup (okay, that’s a lie—sometimes I have wanted my friends to break up with someone because their partner was awful), but I’ve found that, after the breakup, the closeness we had before kind of resurfaces.

In any friendship, it’s important to allow your friends to focus on their romantic relationships from time to time. I’ll still be here at the end ready to hang out, but until then, a little space is just fine.